Dec 13, 2008

Business - India;IndiGo flies past KF to claim 3rd spot

Low-cost carrier IndiGo has landed a double whammy to Kingfisher Airlines. Not only has the airline wrested the third largest position from Kingfisher, it has also replaced Kingfisher Red as the largest LCC.

IndiGo gained a market share of 14.7 per cent, closely followed by Kingfisher Red at 13.3 per cent whereas Kingfisher slipped two notches to the fifth position at 11.6 per cent. Kingfisher stood at No.3 in October, followed by Kingfisher Red and IndiGo at fourth and fifth, respectively.

"We do not comment on market share," said a spokesperson from Kingfisher Airlines. IndiGo's increased market share is a result of a jump in load factors to 73 per cent from 66 per cent in October-November period. Since capacity deployed by both carriers remained constant during the period, IndiGo's increased market share was a result of a shift in load factors, according to industry sources.

Barring Paramount and MDLR — both of which operate only smaller aircraft — IndiGo earned the highest load factor of 73 per cent, while the industry averaged loads of 63.55 per cent this month. This happened at a time when the LCC segment snared a greater part of the market share from the Big Three — Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher.

Domestic traffic declined by a whopping 21 per cent in November compared to the year-ago period. For the 11 months ended November this year, domestic traffic has declined by 3.9 per cent from 39.1 million to 37.6 million. Experts said that if December followed the same trend, domestic traffic for the entire year could see a decline of 4-5 per cent compared to last year. In terms of load factors and market share, LCCs performed better as a result of lower prices. SpiceJet's share increased from 9.5 per cent in October to 10.8 per cent in November, while its load factors jumped from 61 per cent to around 65 per cent.

Among others, JetLite saw a minor decline in market share from 8.1 per cent in October to 7.7 per cent in November.

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